On Thursday 22 June, Pete Wilcox, the Former Dean of Liverpool, was consecrated to serve as the eighth Bishop of Sheffield by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in a service beginning at 11.00am.
The Archbishop opened the service by welcoming a joyful York Minster, where Peter Eagles was also consecrated to be the Bishop of Sodor and Man.
Many people had travelled from places around the country to attend the consecration, with large contingents from the Diocese of Sheffield and Diocese of Liverpool.
As proceedings got under way, Pete Wilcox was presented to the Archbishop by the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows, and the Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes. Pete now succeeds the Rt Revd Steven Croft, who became Bishop of Oxford in 2016. As Bishop of Sheffield, he will have oversight over the Church of England parishes in South Yorkshire and parts of the East Riding, near Goole.
The Revd Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John’s College, Durham, preached at the service with readings from the Revd Beth Keith and Jonathan Wilcox. During the service both new bishops were presented with a bible and a pastoral staff (the traditional bishop’s ‘crozier’ symbolising a shepherd’s care for their flock).
At the Confirmation of Election service held earlier in June the Archbishop of York said: “Pete is a gifted Bible teacher, a pastor and an enthusiastic evangelist who will enable the peoples and parishes in the Diocese of Sheffield to take further their aims of making Christ visible together in mission. Please join me in holding Pete, his family and the Diocese of Sheffield in your prayers.”
Pete Wilcox added:
“I am grateful for all those who have assured me of their prayers over the coming weeks and months as I make this transition to Sheffield. Cathy and I are looking forward to making our home in Bishopscroft and to discovering with delight new people and places, and to sharing with our brothers and sisters across the Diocese of Sheffield in the work the Lord calls us to do together as we seek his kingdom in the power of the Spirit.”
Following the service, the Rt Revd Wilcox was joined by his wife Cathy for the traditional photograph of bishops on the steps of York Minster.
Bishop Pete will now also pay homage to the Queen, acknowledging her as Sovereign and Supreme Governor, during a brief private ceremony at Buckingham Palace over the summer. He will then be installed as Bishop of Sheffield at a service due to take place in September 2017 at Sheffield Cathedral. He will then fully start his ministry in the diocese.